39: THE SINGLE PILLAR AT WESTMINSTER:
GREEK and Roman architecture is horizontal in character, Gothic architecture is vertical. The upward striving of Gothic architecture can be seen in its soaring spires, in the effort of its buttresses, in its arches all pointing towards heaven. It is a rebel architecture which refuses to acknowledge its limitations and is always trying to create more and more illusions of height and weightlessness. If it could. it would carry mankind into the sky itself.
In its endeavour to create space without support, height without limit, the vaulting in some of our English churches appears little short of miraculous. Here is the Chapter House vault of Westminster Abbey; it is carried on one single slender pillar.
Schopenhauer in his architectural analysis of the Gothic church, wrote "The brilliant part of a Gothic church is the interior; here the effect of the groined vaulting borne by slender, crystalline, aspiring pillars raised high aloft, and all burden having disappeared, promising eternal security, impresses the mind."